The Main Figures: From Recorde to Wallis and Barrow

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The present chapter discusses works in the Euclidean tradition written by prominent figures in British mathematics. It focuses on the way they handle results related with Book II. Works analyzed include Robert Recorde’s Pathway to Knowledge, the first two English translations of the Elements, one by the highly influential Henry Billingsley (1570), and another one by Thomas Rudd (1651); two remarkable books published in 1631, Clavis Mathematicae by William Oughtred and Artis Analyticae Praxis by Thomas Harriot, both marking the beginning of an increased interest in symbolic algebraic methods in the British context; and the contributions of John Wallis and Isaac Barrow, who espoused opposing and complementary views about the relative primacy of arithmetic and geometry in mathematical discourse.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringerBriefs in History of Science and Technology
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages36
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSpringerBriefs in History of Science and Technology
ISSN (Print)2211-4564
ISSN (Electronic)2211-4572

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • British mathematics
  • Early algebraic symbolism
  • Euclidean tradition
  • Euclid’s Book II
  • Euclid’s Elements
  • François Viète
  • Henry Billingsley
  • Isaac Barrow
  • John Wallis
  • Renaissance mathematics
  • Robert Recorde
  • Thomas Harriot
  • Thomas Rudd
  • William Oughtred


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